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Frieze Scene: Damien Hirst, Billionaire Pinchuk, Saatchi

18 October 2013

Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk launched his third $100,000 Future Generation Art Prize (for young talent) at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, the new scene-shaper by Zaha Hadid.

Pinchuk’s guests included Marc Quinn and Damien Hirst.

When a guest noted 52-year-old Pinchuk’s relative youth (by billionaire standards), the Ukrainian shared a hug with Hirst and cried, “Young British artist -- young Ukrainian collector!”

Hirst, 48, in a suit jacket and jeans, recalled how, in his younger days, artists just wanted to be in five galleries.

“Now artists question everything, so they’re not just taking the gallery system as it exists,” he said. “They’re inventing their own futures.”

Also attending was Olafur Eliasson, the Danish-Icelandic artist whose artificial sun at Tate Modern was one of the most-loved lobby installations.

Eliasson said he’s working on “Little Sun” -- an environmental project that markets little solar-powered, sun-shaped lamps for 20 euros ($27) via and uses the cash to bring electricity to communities without it.

He handed over a unit powered by the sunlight in Berlin.

“It’s a small power plant that you can hold in your hand,” he explained. “It also gives you personal energy, meaning that it makes you stronger.”

Rubell’s Womb

Jennifer Rubell presented her new interactive work at the Frieze London fair this week.

It’s a large white reclining sculpture of her recently pregnant self with a belly-area cavity viewers can crawl into. During the preview, more than one grown man curled up inside.

After posing for photographers inside the womb, Rubell took time out to talk at the Stephen Friedman Gallery booth. She said her body was scanned when she was eight months pregnant, and the belly digitally carved out, “creating the void.”

Friedman announced he’d sold one of the sculptures (from an edition of three) for $200,000.

The night before collector Charles Saatchi sold artworks in a Christie’s sale, the auction house threw a huge party in a factory-sized former postal depot in London.

There to be inspected were Kader Attia’s “Ghost” (2007) -- 264 foil sculptures of Muslim women kneeling for prayer -- and Jake and Dinos Chapman’s “Tragic Anatomies” (1996), a forest of mutant, mating nudes.

Tracey Emin’s “To Meet My Past” bed looked so cozy, a guard had to stand by and stop any couples from lying down. It sold last night for 481,875 pounds ($778,854).

(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts & leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include the New York and London weekend guides, Scott Reyburn on the art market, Lewis Lapham on history, Jeremy Gerard on U.S. theater and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri in London at [email protected].

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at [email protected].

Author: Farah Nayeri